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Artist Statement

I am a woman artist, who wears ancient hats. I am a weaver and spinner like my West African ancestors who used simple tools to create some of the most complex weave structures in the world. 

I am a soap-maker like my great-great grandma, who, I am told leeched her own lye from wood ash.

I am a quilter like my grandma, Estell, who taught the practice of cover-making to me. A practice handed down to her by our enslaved ancestors. Like them, I too, tuck stories of resistance inside of my quilts.

I am an activist like those of the civil rights movement who used theatre to prepare non-violent protestors for the inevitable violence they’d encounter during lunch counter sit-ins.

None of the above mentioned considered any of these practices to be art, by the way, but as a necessary means to ensure their survival.  

I am a theatre artist who stages theater in unconventional places. I specialize in training non-actors to be actors, and in giving voice to those that live in the margins. I help people capture daily acts of beauty and conflict and turn them into public performance.

As an artist, I seek to create those intersections were art, community, history and greatness can live boldly together as well as those places where, when necessary, they can collide.

In whatever medium I use, I am first and foremost a storyteller and like those who have gone before me, I too need art to survive. 

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Founder, Visionary, Publisher, CEO

 

Catrina J. Sparkman serves as the Artistic Director of the Creator’s Cottage. She is also the founder and CEO of The Ironer’s Press Ministries, a non-profit that serves the needs of women, children and families of color through the use of social action theater, publishing and the creative arts. As a professional artist for over 25 years, Catrina has carved out a successful career niche as a grassroots theater artist and authorpreneur of several works of fiction and non-fiction. She has worked as an instructor of Theatre and Drama, a content creator, public speaker, publisher, book coach, and creative consultant for various national and international organizations. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Madison with a Bachelor of Arts in English, Creative Writing, and Masters in African American Studies.

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